No Strings Attached (2011)

Romance is dead, and the quirk has been called in to substitute until the powers that be can find a suitable replacement. Emma Kurtzman (Natalie Portman) is a resident doctor who doesn’t have time for commitment, doesn’t believe in love and wouldn’t be seen dead with a bouquet of flowers. Adam Franklin (Ashton Kutcher) is an assistant on a musical comedy drama show, who has an unwanted script up his sleeve and an annoyingly famous father with boundary issues. Childhood friends, a no-strings attached (friends with benefits was taken) relationship developed as Emma and Adam made a pact to have casual sex until the day it grew into something more – they clearly hadn’t seen Love and Other Drugs.

I have just seen Submarine. However, as it was, like, so deep and meaningful and stuff, I thought I’d take the opportunity to reflect upon its profundity and review something I’d seen a few weeks previously. For all intents and purposes, No Strings Attached is nowhere near as praiseworthy as Richard Ayoade’s accomplished directorial début – it’s generic, derivative and about as predictable as the alphabet. But I don’t care, I’m not a movie snob: I’m Steven Neish and I preferred No Strings Attached!

I know what you’re thinking (but it’s got Ashton Kutcher in it!), and you’d be right – it should be diabolical – but I preferred it anyway, as surprised as anyone when Mr. Demi Moore evoked a bona fide emotional reaction. I laughed when Adam created a period mix. I laughed again when we here it. Heck, when Adam is hiding something which we know can’t be flowers as this is a quirky comedy (it’s a cactus, isn’t it?), I laughed once more. For while it may scream zeitgeist as part of a indistinguishably harmonious chorus, No Strings Attached is a fine sex comedy, which – while not as naked as Love and Other Drugs – manages to impress on another level: honesty.

Natalie Portman is as adorable in No Strings Attached as she was terrifying in Black Swan, undoing her months of ballerina practice with a genuinely hilarious doughnut binge that demonstrates a glorious propensity for comic timing, boding well for the hitherto appalling looking Your Highness. The supporting cast prove similarly delightful, with Kevin Kline in particular making the most of a conceivably one note character, at his best since 1995’s underrated French Kiss.

So while No Strings Attached risks losing itself in familiar territory, and although the closest you will come to surprise is when the cactus turns out to be not a cactus at all, this is a surprisingly affecting slice of genre cliché that ups the funny in a desperate bid to keep you entertained until the disappointingly predictable finale.

About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

2 Responses to No Strings Attached (2011)

  1. Pingback: March 2011 – You made me…a period mix? « popcornaddict

  2. CMrok93 says:

    I knew this was going to be pretty awful and it was just so awkward for over half the movie. I don’t know if it was the audience I saw this with but a lot of the jokes got nothing but silence. Strings just didn’t know what it wanted to be…it felt like a mid-level comedy going for some edgy material, or an American Pie grade shock-comedy that pulled its punches. Good review, check out mine when you can!

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